Knowledge and practice of cardiopulmonary resuscitation among Nigerian doctors

  • BA Solagberu Department of Surgery, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria


Background: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), first described in 1960, is observed to be poorly applied in quality and quantum, hence, the need to ascertain its correct knowledge and practice among Nigerian doctors.

Methods: Questionnaires were distributed randomly to doctors in a Nigerian University Teaching Hospital. Respondents returned the unsigned questionnaires into a sealed box to protect their identity. There were 45 questions covering theories and practice of CPR.

Results: Fifty-six of 94 (59.6 %) doctors returned their questionnaires; comprising 16 Interns, 21 Registrars, 8 Senior Registrars, 7 Consultants and 4 others. Twenty of the 56 respondents (35.7 %) would do CPR for only 20 minutes, 25%-89% respondents (mean 61.6% 24%) did not know items absolutely essential for CPR, 37 (66.1%) could not use adrenaline effectively either by route of administration or dosage, 25 (44.6%) would use inappropriate venous access, and majority (41 of 56, 73.2 %) would not use blood gas analysis, urine output, ECG to monitor response to CPR. Thirty-nine (69.9%) listed lack of materials as the greatest problem faced in carrying out CPR. Thirty-eight (67.9%) believed other doctors knowledge of CPR was inadequate and 54 (96%) felt doctors needed to update their knowledge of CPR.

Conclusion: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is associated with problems of lack of materials, and demonstrable inadequate knowledge and application of its pathophysiology as more than two thirds of the respondents believed other doctors' knowledge of CPR was inadequate.

These three parameters may be responsible for the observed poor success rate in CPR. Efforts to correct these should improve CPR success rate among Nigerian doctors.

Keywords: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Cardiac arrest, Respiratory failure, Nigeria.

Nig. J. of Surgical Research Vol.4(1-2) 2002: 12-21

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1595-1103